Tag Archives: Islam

WHEN NOT TO BE A GOOD SAMARITAN

migrants

A QUESTION OF LIMITS

Are there occasions when people, especially Christians, are not called upon to be proverbial Good Samaritans, not founts of mercy? And why might our bibles, especially the OT (which admittedly for Christians belongs to another and older covenant), often demand the refusal of mercy.

There’s a poem I’ve had in mind which I now doubt I shall ever write because though it could carry its message at the level of feeling it would be hard to cover things sufficiently at the level of argument. The failure at the poetic level would be excusable, but I should want to be as fair as possible in the face of fact and complexity and also remain clear as possible given the barrage of criticism any original or non PC treatment of a theme can engender today.

Not that my approach and main facts supporting it would be entirely original – anyone wanting more of the facts can go to the writings of such as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, British author and journalist Douglas Murray and articles of the Gatestone Institute which regularly reports news that especially Germany, Sweden and Britain don’t want people to hear and sometimes controversially suppress. Only the spiritual/theological perspectives would be more particular to myself.

LAMENTATION FOR EUROPE

The poem, a variation on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, would be about what I believe to be radically the case, an inconvenient truth not seen (or not admitted), namely the end of Europe as we know it  – Murray would speak of Europe’s “suicide” – something symbolized and partly triggered by the migrant crisis. The latter phenomenon, which both is and isn’t a genuine “migrant” crisis, involves far more than the PC political class and a by and large would-be generous public cares to recognize.

Poetry which transcends norms of expression offers an opportunity to question and rewrite reality. Sometimes its treatment is closer to those prophetic style perceptions of events which assume spiritual laws of life that post-Enlightenment rationalism and even religion won’t consider and have largely forgotten.

As with Lamentations this can include difficult concepts like the “wrath” or “jealousy” of God, expressions which don’t automatically mean quite what is popularly assumed. They are more metaphorical and bespeak rather a divine withdrawal from events which allows natural chaos to take over and the need for an exclusive attachment to the divine in order to hear anything from that source.

So, any poem in the style of Lamentations would speak to the more spiritual dimensions of the current crisis, but what might that mean? And how would the perspective differ from the rationalist Christian and/or secularist line in the West for whom events are simply a call to be  a  good Samaritans to suffering people (assuming, as is not always the case, that the migrants, usually male and some over fifty but claiming to be “unaccompanied children”, are authentic refugees, not opportunists seeking a new life and benefits).

GOOD SAMARITANS TO WHOM AND WHY?

The Good Samaritan is defined by Jesus’ parable of Luk 10:25-37 as a social outsider ( to Jews of Jesus’ time) who has mercy upon someone when  it would not be customary to have automatic interest in or sympathy with . The aided victim is a man who has been attacked by thieves and left for half dead – to that extent comparison could be made with tortured victims of President Assad’s regime which has suppressed opposition and reform – the president is largely responsible for the entire Syrian crisis. The parable implies almost anyone is a potential neighbour to everyone else and here comparison of gospel ethics with Islam’s  injunction  to terrorize and subjugate the outsider/infidel  wherever they are found (Sura 9:5) could hardly be greater. (Converts to Christianity from Islam are usually persuaded by the theme of forgiveness within the religion. The popularity of jihad  with  martyrdom in Islam  is due precisely to its being the only sure  way to secure divine acceptance and thus paradise ).

The person the Samaritan assists is helpless and in need of aid. This is not the same as someone, victim or otherwise, who does not consider outsiders to be any kind of world citizen but who still demands assistance from others as of right, which at least some migrants have done, demanding to be let in, passing barriers and protesting if they are not  allowed to enter  the rejecting society is criminal and doesn’t understand humanity – ironically an ideal they have at least partly learned from the West they often despise or oppose.

This situation with the attitudes it throws up is between strange and unprecedented. When nations suffer war and internal dysfunction, normally they fight and put up with it. Some populations like the Jews have fled specific persecution to more tolerant places but they have usually brought wanted skills with them rather than expected host nations to support them on the scale migrants often expect and indeed need when they require language and other training to cope.

The idea that war suffering and internal chaos gives the right to populations to migrate by the million is historically exceptional. It is something that perhaps more readily occurs to members of a highly political faith which believes in its ultimate right to universal rule and reducing resisting inhabitants to servant status, despised paying dhimmis,   and even the right to practice a degree of conquest by migration. That such is an established Islamic principle even an orthodox Muslim freely admits (see http://goo.gl/25QYXr. We may suppose the readiness of Turkey and the Gulf States to let Europe be swamped is not without the hope of furthering precisely expansion.

Does this mean that Christians have the right to ignore an influx of people desperate as at any rate some threatened Syrians are, but whose nonetheless alien beliefs and values could over time pose a threat to host lifestyles – an assumption not merely “racist”(as even the very pro-refugee Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted) but based on the kind of things preached in some immigrant circles and actions already observed to have occurred where migrants have recently settled.

No, we should not ignore….but in this instance assistance should be given with proper caution and safeguards. The Christian rule in this case would be closer to the NT dictum, “if your enemy hungers, feed him” (Rom 12:10). Enemy? Do Christians have them? Are they supposed to be looking for them and  regarding people as such? Are those refugees, some of whom really have lost everything and are hopeless, but who are not waging war and quite likely are peace loving, actual “enemies”? No…..but to be realistic, they do still cling to and represent a culture, faith, values and laws that have failed them and many more in modern times; and wherever Muslims are a majority their rulers from Sudan to Afghanistan  have proved relentlessly hostile and discriminatory towards Christians and other minorities. The mixture of corruption and persecution that is, for example, modern Pakistan is disturbing and within Britain where immigrants of that nation have  settled in great numbers, everything from archaic treatment of women to persecution of Christian converts has been reported.

SHARIAH

WHO ARE MY BROTHER AND SISTER?

No matter how worthy many individual Muslims may be, practically and politically regarded they cannot be simply called “our brothers and sisters” as a well-meaning, naive papacy is ready to call them. It’s the Christians, women and gays persecuted by Muslims who are our brothers and sisters. The Chinese classic The Art of War insists that one must understand the mind of the enemy to win any advantage,  something which if the West is not to founder or just suicide, it needs to do pronto. It is short-sighted, naïve and even  disloyal to the suffering of minorities in Islamic societies, to be anything but cautious and provisional in welcome.

Horror was inevitably expressed when the blustering, pot-stirring Donald Trump described Islam as having a hate problem, but something of the kind seems almost undeniable. It is notorious that Palestinians were dancing in glee at  9/11 and recent murders of Israelis can engender the same response. The hatred of some Muslims for Christians is so intense that Syrian and Iraqi Christians have been physically attacked and refused food and drink as impure untouchables even in refugee camps in Europe. Escaping refugees have thrown Christian refugees from their boat to drown them. Others are not so needy or friendly they have not thrown away offered food and drink https://goo.gl/E1lnGv

Only because the West is largely secular (despite the fact Muslims inaccurately call  Europeans “Crusaders”)  has it insufficiently cared and protested for persecuted Christians; but failing to care it also fails to read the writing on the wall for itself as constituting also “infidels” who later may receive no better treatment. The perverse secularism of Sweden has in the past sent Christians refugees from such as Iran back into certain persecution  http://goo.gl/ElxWYN while opening its arms to refugee Muslims by the thousands. Some of these refugees are now harassing women (including minors) and ordinary citizens to a degree press and politicians scarcely dare admit and have so far mostly tried to hide http://goo.gl/kBREej Multiculturalism and fears of being called “racist” have Swedish police and people in shackles unable to defend themselves in the face of persons who have no appreciation for the old adage “When in Rome, do as Rome does”.

This ungrateful or presuming guest response recalls another parable of Jesus to which I turn presently and whose message must be set against that of the Good Samaritan because of the way it addresses the  response to a compassion scorned.

THE ETHICS OF NO MERCY

The Old Testament has two attitudes towards the stranger/refugee: welcome provided they become part of the society observing its laws (Lev 24:22), or in the case of peoples like Moabites and Amorites who have distinctly opposed Israel or whose beliefs are so perverse they would contaminate, simple extinction. Deut 7: 2-7 is summary of the general principle and style and can be quoted:

And when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, , then you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, ….for that would turn away your children from following me….break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles….”.  

The ruthlessness of this has understandably troubled and bewildered Christian readers of the age of Pisces looking back to the blood and iron of the age of super-patriarchal Aries, bolstered as this was by customs of the some of which still survive into our times, like the kind of honour killings now and again surfacing among peoples of the Middle East, not to say the radical ethnic and cultural cleansing of IS. Even in that earlier age Israel itself hesitated to be so absolute, though it was later seen as a cause of their vulnerability in many ways especially its idolatries.

It is perhaps only in the face of the intransigence and ruthlessness we see in IS and which seems almost a speciality of the Middle East,(Hitler and Nazism despite –  Hitler was inspired by the still denied Ottoman genocide of the Christian Armenians!), it makes a little more sense.

It would obviously be wrong in this era and for Christians to annihilate enemies (just this has been the crime of Orthodox Serbs upon the Muslims of Bosnia from fear of what Islam means and has done in Eastern Europe), but in any age or clime, aggressive intransigence may need to be dismissed or ignored or somehow quarantined so that any kind of peace and order can flourish.

If beyond a certain point people and societies value vengeance and make children imbibe it with their mother’s milk, then this leads to total paralysis on the moral plain. We see something of the kind in the (again minimally reported) policies and attitudes of Palestinians today. Given millions to rebuild their society the money gets poured instead into building more tunnels into Israel because the real desire is not a good and safe life but vengeance upon the nation for existing at all with the desire, freely expressed everywhere from media to classroom, to have those supposedly descended from pigs and monkeys, destroyed before Judgement day.  Likewise  Iran openly declares and plans for the total annihilation of Israel as its aim – it recently launched missiles with notices attached declaring the need to destroy all Jews. The easy going West conveniently ignores and doesn’t believe it (after all trade is involved!) but why not?

Let us speculate and try to imagine. If God is love (Islam never says this, only that Allah is “merciful”) and represents certain absolutes that need to be established for the general good but cannot be so because those values are threatened by persons so committed to hatred after the manner of violent tribes as depicted in the OT, then in the interests of progress a case can perhaps be made for a new beginning. This is achieved not by reconciliation when none is possible, but by annihilation. With certain root principles established and the spirit of the age different Christians cannot possibly think this way, but in other times and places……?

I can now turn to that other parable that differs from the Good Samaritan, namely the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matt 18: 23-35). A king demands owed payments from persons who cannot repay. One of them risks losing family and everything. Upon appeal the king forgives the servant his debt. The servant goes straight out and starts bullying a fellow slave who owes him far less than he himself had owed. The victim’s fellow slaves report him to the ruler. The parable ends,

“Then his lord summoned him and said to him ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to everyone one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart”.

With this in mind, finally we may turn to a few poetic/prophetic parallels to our times.

PROPHETIC VERDICTS?

SHARIAH 2

In one of my poems I observed

Religion knows no vacuum
Nor end of tides, its nature
Is it will return to fill the empty
Rock pools of the secular sands….  (Beyond Dover Beach)

Quite simply society does not get rid of God by denial, indifference or forgetting. The God issue returns, if need be in another form; and if God is not the friend, God becomes however reluctantly the enemy. The rejected, uninvoked God withdraws protection in a way which makes him as though the enemy itself. “He has taken away the covering (protection) of Israel” says Isaiah (Is 22: 8) with the result as chaos mounts “I am laying before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble” (Jer 6:21).

The situation and attitude of Europe today is painfully similar to that of Judah before its fall to enemies – decadent and complacent, assured that no evil will come (Jer 5:12) “no evil shall come upon us/and we shall not see sword or famine”, declaring “peace, peace and there is no peace” (Jer 6:14). It’s the reckless even arrogant spirit of Angela Merkel’s wir schaffen es   (we’ll deal with it). Yet, says the prophet, those will come who “will eat up your harvest and your bread” (Jer 5:17). Do we need to spell it out that the migrant crisis is so large it is likely to wreck the economies of Europe, especially proudly wealthy Germany as increasingly the tax payer must fund those who arrive?

“The mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding fine”. It’s not a biblical saying but it might as well be so. Germany who in the last century was an exponent of racial purity and a persecutor of Jews, (which last is declared to invoke the curse of God , Gen 12:3) finally is held to ransom by what promises to be a virtual end of any kind of racial purity and ongoing wealth. The sins of the fathers stand to be visited on the children. Though not themselves Nazi bigots, those children might as well be atheists as regards any spirituality, mistaught in Christianity as they are by the likes of Bultmann popularizer and author Uta Ranke-Heinemann whose Putting Away Childish Things, is in many respects an insult and mockery to everything divine. Where the theologians are concerned it’s a case of “they have spoken falsely” (told lies) about the Lord” (Jer 5:13).

An oracle against Sweden could rather easily be composed in view of what has happened and is likely to happen to that bastion of secularism and “liberalism” where some citizens are now paying for private protection because they can no longer trust their police to guard them against migrant thefts and assaults and attacks on their homes – most of which you will never have heard of because the political class can’t admit to the rank failure of its almost totalitarian multicultural policies and plays the old “racist” card to critics. Swedes are abandoning the swimming pools because of the dangers of being there.

Sweden is the country where God is scarcely mentioned unless as something embarrassing and the lesbian bishop of Stockholm removes crosses from her church lest Muslims not feel welcome in her country (whose flag has a cross). Sweden almost invented modern permissiveness and pioneered in postmodern treatments of sex and gender so blatant they would have children no longer referred to as “he” and “she”. The nation is far beyond any justifiable modern reforms in favour of women and gays. Ever since films like I am Curious Yellow in the sixties Sweden has been banishing any concepts of sacred from life, sex and marriage which last is almost the exception and not the rule in the country. The sudden reversal of the nation’s fortunate situation inevitably rather recalls words like:

And if you say in your heart
“Why have these things come upon me?”
It is for the greatness of your iniquity
That your skirts are lifted high
And you are violated…..
This is your lot….because
You have forgotten me and believed in lies. (Jer 13:22,28).

Whether or not one feels there is a connection here, I can only say that when I read a year or so ago that liberal Sweden, so ready to assimilate almost anyone or anything had turned away desperate Iranian Christian asylum seekers, something registered with me. I felt a line in hypocrisy and injustice by the “liberal” nation  had been crossed and the country would pay for it. God is patient, but not infinitely and establishment Sweden has gone far enough with its lies and hypocrisy.  I didn’t however suspect the reversal would arrive quite so fast and strong.

If we were to look at the rest of Europe for a rewriting of oracles against or lamentations over nations it’s interesting to note that the countries which the migration crisis has hit most hard, Britain, Germany, Sweden and France , are not simply those nations that have most appeal for the fleeing multitudes on account of wealth and lifestyle, but they are the nations most obviously alienated from God. It is they who have been most prone to export their unbelief – France has been doing it since the so-called Enlightenment. Few have pointed out just how radical in its contempt of the sacred Charlie Hebdo was – what it threw at Islam was mild in comparison with its blasphemies of Christianity – while those who died at the Bataclan theatre did so when a song welcoming the devil started up. We have to consider with the prophets it really is possible to lose divine protection. France is also an offender in its perennial dismissiveness ands coldness of its social attitudes which by making its immigrants feeling unwanted builds up resentments which foster extremist views. France is simply a thoroughly unchristian country in more ways than one;  even the era of its religion held much that was objectionable.

If Europe does not care to accept the Christian God, then they and their children in the schools (where as in Britain it has just been ruled early Islamic history will be taught before even 1066 and the British history that becomes optional), it will find itself ever more subject to the Muslim God and laws of Sharia. (Migrant population alone in the face of relative European infertility will make for rapid change while democracy, if not defended and respected, will just cave into an insistence upon Sharia inroads)). It will be a case of  “Ah Assyria, the rod of my anger” ( Is. 10.5) .  And despite some wishful interfaith thinking, Allah cannot be readily and automatically identified George Bush style with the Judaeo-Christian deity; there is too much contradiction between statements and claims of the different scriptures for that. If the Pope thinks otherwise and kisses the Koran (has he read it?) that is part of the confusion of the times and could even belong with long standing prophecy which would make the current Pope the last of the Christian era.

 

 

WHEN “DOING GOOD” ISN’T AUTOMATICALLY OF GOD: THOUGHTS IN A TIME OF MIGRATIONS AND UPHEAVAL

WHEN “DOING GOOD” ISN’T AUTOMATICALLY OF GOD

Migrants

WHEN CHARITY MAY NOT BE CHARITY

Some years back I read somewhere of the insistence of a certain preacher that some forms of goodness amounted to virtual rebellion against God.

I recoiled and still somewhat do, at the blunt, seemingly excessive claim which I hardly  understood. Only now I am having second thoughts about what might have been more obvious from the first….After all, Jesus condemned Pharisees who gave charity for show and said their reward for it was here and now and not in the hereafter (Matt 6:12). In other words, to feel good was enough for them and they got what they wanted. It had nothing to do with God’s intentions.

Though spontaneous compassion is good and should not suppressed – the same Jesus obviously also famously approved the Good Samaritan – sometimes what is truly  good and best for people needs to be found out, thought about, prayed about, not least as regards the long term. Ultimately what is good is “God’s Will”, not whatever one might think on the spur of the moment.

Right now we are arguably having a major demonstration of the not so ideal goodness of a post-Christian, godless West. It is one in which Germany, as though in penance for  past failures and determined to exchange Aryan racial  purity doctrines for  mongrel multicultural ones , is leading the band and making it so easy for migrants/refugees to enter their nation that it is encouraging still further immigration towards other nations, less wealthy and less able to cope.

A CROSSROADS AND A WATERSHED

Should Europe simply ignore the refugees? Well obviously not, and no decent person wants to see people dying unnecessarily at sea. But  serious questions  have to be asked  all the same and appropriate policies put into place.  More questions are  surely appropriate when all those who have major responsibilities in what has occurred –  non-interventionist Obama, brutal Assad, unwelcoming rich Gulf States, evil people smugglers , corrupt, impossible to live in African states –  are being far less opposed, criticized and protested to or about by those would-be sympathetic sectors of the  general public marching with banners for immigrants or giving them handouts.

There are moreover refugees and refugees ; the difference between  the genuinely dispossessed and economic migrants is increasingly recognized as a real issue.The world has been properly enough  moved by the image of a tragically drowned child, Aylan Kurdi; the reality nonetheless is his father was not escaping Syrian persecution. He had lived and worked safely for three years in Turkey and wanted a better life (and treatment for his teeth) in Europe and risked his child’s life in a dangerous journey for that.

At least some of the Syrians appear to be, and might need to be, tolerably in pocket to have got as far as they have when others are left to their fate in rather greater need. Some even seem rather demanding and pushy, not hesitating to call any hostile authorities “animals”  as though  it was somehow a right for vast numbers to arrive suddenly and uninvited upon settled societies and as though the international law that requires refugees claim asylum in the first safe nation they  reach, didn’t apply to them because it didn’t suit them. Would Muslim societies host, indeed have they ever hosted those they dismiss as “infidels”?  The West needs to consider, even if rumours are false about ISIS smuggling in their members among the refugees, that the long term effects of the open policy could be to alter the entire face of Europe forever and maybe lead to its Islamization too.

All said and done, and with the best and most tolerant, liberal will in the world, it must seem from the experience of recent years many Muslim immigrants have the reputation of stirrers. As Hungarians are complaining, they are less likely to assimilate and do in Rome as Rome does than any other immigrant group. In the end, everything from school curricula to national diet can  get called into question. Just recently a seriously ghastly case of the almost continuous persecution over years in  UK’s Bradford of a Pakistani Christian family by Pakistani immigrants has come to light.  https://goo.gl/9zHM9Z     Is this non-assimilationist situation,  assisted by a too often blind  multiculturalism, what is really wanted? Is the new  multicultural will to abandon long held traditions, customs and values in quasi-submission to Islam’s often insistent demands what the tolerant, democratic West really wants and its future children deserve?

The auguries are not good. In Sweden refugee Syrian Muslims have been making life misery bullying already traumatized Christian refugees, insisting they remove crosses, even pushing them out a refuge centre . http://goo.gl/JXikTr   (Swedish  police did nothing, the country is almost hostage to PC attitudes and can be pushed into almost anything for peace and quiet!). Then there’s the anti-Semitism that risks importation. The same Palestinian girl who engendered press sympathy when she was tearful because Merkel said not everyone could be accommodated, a day or two later was declaring Israel had no right to exist. The  Middle East doesn’t understand, and perhaps doesn’t want to learn, western notions of fairness. Will the refugees even be grateful for being admitted or will  they  consider it what infidels only owe them like so much jiza tax?

There are Christians like Giles Fraser of Britain’s The Guardian   prepared dramatically to declare it’s Christian and biblical to let just everyone in at whatever price – he wildly cites  Mosaic teachings about the alien and sojourner.  Apart from the fact the regulations refer to provisions of an ancient theocracy, this open doors position quite ignores that the refugees Israel would take in were then intended to observe the laws of the Hebrew system. Would Fraser wish to demand migrants sign on the dotted to observe democratic values, or take classes with a view towards conversion to Christianity? All said and done, Christians are supposed to preach the gospel everywhere to  everyone, (it’s Christ’s final command to his disciples)  something political Islam everywhere singularly forbids, and something the “compassionate”, social gospel brand of Christianity is  in no danger of doing.  So the ultra-socialist Christian position is just a lot of hot air and silly posturing .

TOO MANY OTHER VICTIMS FORGOTTEN AND IGNORED

Meanwhile the moral cowardice of inter-faith Christians and the prejudices of multicultural favouring unbelievers, raise hypocritical hands in horror at the suggestion Christians, though by far the most  radically persecuted group in especially the Middle East, subject to outright genocide and  ruin of their historic culture, should receive any kind of preferential treatment. Broad-minded Europeans won’t presume to dirty their hands taking sides among religions!  Not they, they are so tolerant, so generous! Typical of the current PC line has been the execrable Obama who, even when 21 Copts were (openly) executed specifically for being Christians – their executioners even promised to war against the cross and make  attack upon Rome – not wishing to offend Muslims and still less praise any martyrs, could only say 21 “Egyptians” had been executed by ISIS.

What alas this PC attitude, somewhere between ignorant and hypocritical has been producing over recent years, is a suppression of proper information and action in numerous cases of Christian persecution, some in places like Pakistan and Myanmar/Burma whose victims should have been loudly protested for and given refuge in the West long ago. While the banners and loudspeakers of concerned citizens protest for Muslims, who speaks for today’s hopeless Christian refugees of Pakistan’s persecuting Islam living precariously when not imprisoned everywhere from Sri Lanka to Thailand? Who protests for the numerous imprisoned Christians of North Korea – for that matter who even bothers to mention those Christian and others cruelly imprisoned in Iran to which Obama cannot concede enough and at the expense of American citizens without whose release no deal with Iran should ever have been made?

Media will regularly take sides over Muslims we hear for example of the unquestionably badly treated Rohingas in Burma, but for the last two decades scarcely a whisper from media about the rape, torture and murder, and genocide of whole Christian communities which, since they belong to ethnic minorities, have fallen foul of not so kindly Buddhist Burma’s horrible tendency to ethnic cleanse. It cannot be said enough that once outside the West, Christians are the most persecuted group and often enough where any Muslim majority rules. But it’s not only  Muslims. The atheistic Chinese government has had thousands of crosses torn off churches in the  recent months and the treatment of Christians in many areas continues unacceptable but who is protesting? Not the likes of Australia and its government whose trade and good relations with China is the prime consideration. Then there are Christians in Vietnam imprisoned and not allowed even communion or bibles. The list goes on and on. Who is protesting?  Giles Fraser and the social gospel Christians or the noisy student professional protesters of just about anything? The silence is deafening.

“GOODNESS” AS AN ABOMINATION

I don’t need to be a prophet to say with some conviction that a fair deal that currently passes in the West for goodwill and charity is little better than an abomination to God, quite outside any divine will for nations and is a work of self-delusion, self-indulgence and self-congratulation, an  unspiritual myopia that cannot see any larger view. There are forms of goodness like deeds of the church of Laodicea that Christ simply despises. The good works will never substitute for the hazy attitudes towards all and any ethics and beliefs nor would it buy any divine favours for normally materialistic, immoral societies – they might even court divine dismissal.

What has happened and will now happen may even be a mark of, in some degree, God abandoning a society that has abandoned all belief and loyalty, however broad, to inherited beliefs and tradition. Christianity is not good enough for the brave new world’s sense of righteousness. But let free of God, it will open itself to other than the freedom it thought to establish and represent. Arguably the downfall of the West is being played out before our eyes. It is said the migration is “of biblical proportions”. No one is saying that alarming lessons of a biblical kind might also be expected to be learned from it and likely too late.

[Though the subject is very different, I would encourage all readers of this article to go to my other site and read Something the Australia Press Doesn’t Want You to Know http://wp.me/p2v96G-GZ ]

 

IF THE POPE CAN’T READ, BUT ALL MAY PROPHESY

 A TRIP TO TURKEY

Pope Francis continues to surprise with paradoxes and contradictions. As he means well and often hits right, one dislikes even as a non Catholic to go against the  general spirit of reform and good will to criticize; but sometimes Francis  is plain myopic or eccentric, even  dangerously so.

On his recent visit to Turkey it was good that Francis urged Muslim leaders to protest the current terrorism of such as ISIL that threatens minorities, especially Christian ones. It’s nevertheless  doubtful that short of immediate political threat to their own nations those leaders  will notably speak out. I suggest they will not do so for the same reasons I gave in the article on Prince Charles who has likewise called for more protest in this line.  (See  http://goo.gl/dByOMa )

It was however highly controversial that the Pope prayed in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque (rather than like Pope Benedict before him just “contemplated” ) and towards Mecca. This will be read by some as symbolizing a kind of spiritual submission to Islam (the name means submission) and esoterically/spiritually may even in the long run make for something to that effect. It was still more controversial to declare the Koran a book of peace, perhaps especially so in Turkey where as even a recent BBC article pointed out (the very multicultural and sceptical BBC is not notably pro Christian), a century ago the population of Turkey was 20% Christian whereas it is not 0.2%. This situation owes much to a genocide of the Armenians under the Ottoman empire not admitted or regretted by Turkey but an example to Hitler for his “last solution”.

HOPING FOR PEACE

As stated in the mentioned article, in and out of the Koran, the peace understood by mainstream Islam is most essentially the peace which settles upon a world subject to Sharia Law. Mystics (like the Sufis) and heretics and nominal believers may see things differently or would like to, and there are unquestionably peaceful Muslims, but there is a strong warlike history and tone to the religion all the same. “Slay all the unbelievers wherever you find them” is explicit in the Koran at 2:19.

Anyway, a jihad/war theme is sufficiently emphasized in Koran and Hadith (the Sayings) for it not to be too lightly and easily dismissed as only “fundamentalism”. And it is surely inappropriate for Pope Francis to reduce all problems in Islam and across the religions to “fundamentalism” as though he himself is not capable of fundamentalism (not biblical but scholastic philosophical) when he supports, for example, an exceptionless doctrine of respect for life as in the case of abortions.

Pope John Paul 11 kissed the Koran. Pope Benedict rather dissociated himself from this kind of world religions ecumenism but now Pope Francis, who one wonders has he actually read the Koran, declares a scripture which has it that Muslims should not even be friends with infidels, is a book of peace,  the book  moreover which even if it is about peace contains radical denials of Christ’s status and meaning in Christian terms..

Perhaps the most peaceful thing about the Koran is its declaration that war should only be defensively pursued. This would encourage peace if it weren’t that given the many people and beliefs disapproved by the same scripture too many Muslims take the stipulation as a reason to be offended about many  things in order to go on the offensive, like the attack I mentioned on an entire Christian village because one Copt had merely put Like on a Facebook page referring to evangelism. This was deemed an insult to true religion, it must be avenged!  Few people groups are as  sensitive as the Muslim, but Pope Francis says he understands the offence Muslims feel that their religion is not considered a religion of peace. He is concerned they not feel this way. Indeed?!

LAST POPE POLICIES?

It all makes little sense, so little that one feels like saying the Pope can’t read. But it arguably makes some sense prophetically….and then, does not even St Paul hope that all might prophesy (1 Cor 14:5) rather than that the prophetic function should be limited to the smallest possible number. So I shall – sort of – declare and forecast.

It is very likely that this “last” Pope (at least the last according to the St Malachy prophecy) is intentionally or unintentionally preparing the way to a world religion through Rome that according to the late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon, will rapidly follow upon the death of the last Pope (whom she alleged she saw assassinated). The development should be  part of a larger Antichrist phenomenon at the end of the era. (We are at the end of the age of Pisces that Christ’s birth might be said to have inaugurated. The  Muslims of ISIL firmly believe they are in the last times, though of course they don’t link this to the age of Pisces and not even many Christians know or grasp the significance of this).

Having proposed that atheists can be redeemed by their good works, and oddly tried to make ecumenical overtures to Pentecostalism through its controversial prosperity gospel wing (in rank contradiction of his declaration in favour of a new church poverty!), Pope Francis now seems to be selling the idea that all people of faith are “walking the same path” are “brothers and sisters” and can work and cooperate beyond and against various “fundamentalisms”. http://goo.gl/B0OOOX.   Shortly before his trip to Turkey he presided over an ecumenical meeting of the world’s religions to discuss family values and ethics. “Dialogue” as against anything like the dirty word evangelization could hardly go further.

One may like to imagine cooperation does or could exist, but in reality there is, and always has been, such little cooperation between Christians and Muslims that in most places Christians have only ever been tolerated by Muslims. They are not allowed their natural human right (and even religious obligation), to declare publicly what their religion teaches. In Pakistan Christians are constantly threatened by vicious vigilante mobs ever ready to invent and believe new lies against Christians. In Egypt Christian girls and women are not safe against abduction and forced marriage. The list of abuses is endless. (In the face of this the West is either naïvely ignorant or grossly disloyal and unfair to Christians amid its bend-over-backwards concessions to multiculturalism and relativist secularist philosophies).

However, in line with Ireland’s favourite psychic Lorna Byrne who surprised many by alleging she saw a time when Christians would worship at Mecca, I suggest something of the sort is on the way – not worship at Mecca but as though at Mecca or towards Mecca like the Pope’s prayer. Chrislam, already gaining some traction in trend obsessed America, will be the next religious movement. Liberal Christians will join with Muslim moderates appalled by demonstrations of radical and medieval Sharia law. For Catholicism the drift will be facilitated through the Marian cult to which Pope Francis is much attached at the expense of Jesus. Francis is controversially opposed to anyone saying they have a personal relation with Jesus. According to The Catholic Reporter, the Pope has described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.” http://goo.gl/OFYCLA

THE MARY FACTOR

It is Mary and the Church who present you to Jesus (rather than Jesus relating you to the Father/Creator who almost gets counted out of this Catholic equation). But it is nonetheless Mary who can unify Muslims and Christians – Muslims are impressed that Mary supposedly appeared at Fatima, name of Mohammed’s daughter. Mary is more revered by Muslims (and Hindus, Buddhists etc) than the Jesus who is not understood in special terms of Messiahship and Sonship, issues which liberal Christians have tended to soft pedal . They now ignore, are unaware of, or underplay how Jesus was understood to be the manifest side of God, the Angel of the Lord, in a perfectly Hebrew understanding of doctrine and not the late Graeco-Roman construction sceptical scholarship had made the divinity of Christ  in a way which now assists misunderstanding, doubt and apostasy from original Christian teaching.

I will not speculate or forecast on whether the Pope will be assassinated as per Dixon’s claims re a last Pope, but I do think that when ISIL (in line with the Hadith referring to the last times that inspires the radicals) promises it will overrun Rome, this can be taken as likely. If ISIL is not stopped soon, which I doubt, this could occur as early as 2017 when I think Italy, the Vatican, St Peter’s could all find themselves in some trouble.

But what we can be sure of, is no Vatican is going to have any divine protection against disaster if it imagines it can become the umbrella of some new world religious movement on terms which embrace anyone or anything based on unrealistic notions of what constitutes  faith and love. Wrong beliefs cause the candlestick to be removed as per Rev 2:5. (I won’t controversially speculate on the theme that certain churches might not have fallen into quite the degree of oppression and disaster they have if certain qualities and beliefs had originally been more in evidence). The Catholicism which once damned all other churches declaring no salvation existed outside itself, is now ready to cooperate with all unbelievers of good faith anywhere. It makes the switch not least because Pope Francis believes that we can know we are touched by the Holy Spirit whenever we have tender feelings of the heart and reach out to people – in short “feel good” and “together” (rather than experience the vision and knowledge and spiritual gifts the Spirit is said to give).

We may need to remember that according to the mentioned Jeane Dixon, the horrors of the times of the Antichrist would begin with people drawn to the very pitch of feel-good, idealistic emotions. It of course  good to be good, but God and religion are about  a bit more than that and some goodness when misdirected can lead to chaos.